August 2016 City Council Meeting Agenda

City of Lawler
414 E. Grove St.
PO Box 215
Lawler, IA  52154
563-238-3614

AGENDA

REGULAR MEETING
AUGUST 1, 2016
7:00 PM, CITY HALL

  1. ROLL CALL.
  1. APPROVAL OF AGENDA WITH ANY ADDITIONS.
  1. APPROVAL & CORRECTIONS, IF ANY, OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS AND APPROVAL OF THE BILLS PRESENTED TO BE PAID.
  1. MAYORS COMMENTS.

BUSINESS:
RON MYERS – ESTIMATES ON WATER & SEWER MAINS.
ASHLEY EWING – NUISANCE.
CATHY HUMPAL – APPOINT LIBRARY BOARD MEMBER & BUILDING ISSUE.
PAUL ROSENBAUM – WATER RATES.
PAUL ROSENBAUM – LAWLER ALL-NITER.
ENGINEERING FEES FOR WATER PROJECT.
CITY PROPERTY SOUTH OF TOWN.
LOT ON GROVE STREET.
LIONS CLUB – FIRE BELL.
FIRE DEPARTMENT TANKER TRUCK.
PARK BOARD.
CD RENEWAL.
DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS.
CITY CLERK JOB DESCRIPTION.

ADJOURNMENT.

City Council Special Session Minutes–July 18, 2016

The Lawler City Council met in special session on July 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Mayor Mueterthies presided.

Council members present: Izer, King, Scheidel, Throndson & Zubrod.

Others present: Dianna Gebel.

Moved by Izer, seconded by Scheidel to approve the Agenda.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Zubrod to set the hours for the City Clerk position at:  9:00 am – 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Monday – Friday plus meetings.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Throndson to set the wages for the City Clerk position at $16.00 per hour with a 90 day review.  Ayes – Izer, King, Scheidel and Throndson.  Nays – Zubrod.

Moved by Izer, seconded by Scheidel for the vacation, sick time and paid holidays terms for the City Clerk position to be as for current employees with the exceptions of:  sick time and vacation must be used in the year given or there will be no compensation and comp time will be deleted.  Ayes – Izer, King and Throndson.  Nays – Scheidel and Zubrod.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by King to make the requirements for the City Clerk position as follows:  An equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform essential functions of the position.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Izer to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 PM.  All Ayes.

____________________________

Sue Cutsforth, City Clerk

July 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes

The Lawler City Council met in regular session on July 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Mayor Mueterthies presided.

Council members present: Izer, King, Scheidel, Throndson & Zubrod.

Others present: Ron Myers, Jason Byrne, Tony Blazek, Jerry Vrzak, Kurt Croell & Mike Murray.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to approve the Agenda with the addition of Ron Myers discussion of building permit, water and sewer service.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and to approve the bills presented to be paid.  All Ayes.

Hawkeye REC Service $15,230.05
Treasurer State of Iowa sales tax  June $1,270.00
United States Treasury FICA, with $1,533.76
IPERS June $987.85
Salaries Salaries $6,638.82
Jendro Sanitation June garbage $2,146.20
Post Office Postage $147.45
Windstream June $98.47
Black Hills Energy natural gas $103.82
United Parcel Service shipping $78.97
Iowa Dept. of Inspections food stand permit $33.50
ARAWARK rental $86.90
Fehr Graham services – water project $147.50
Bodensteiner Imp. supplies $63.06
Deb Zubrod food stand supplies $226.00
New Hampton Tribune proceedings $83.73
TestAmerica water & wastewater testing $98.70
Hawkins water supplies $486.22
Wellmark health insurance $2,146.35
Clerk of Court small claim $95.00
David Pepper refund $11.60
Blacktop Service Company street seal coating $25,751.91
Floyd Mitchell Landfill TV monitor disposal $58.00
Iowa League of Cities annual dues $414.00
Chickasaw County Auditor haz-mat $219.50
Chickasaw County Auditor drive-thru patrol $3,292.50
City of Lawler electric at lift station $468.75
Office Depot office supplies $77.84
Mid-American Research lagoon supplies $686.35
APC PLAY playground equipment $26,292.00
Lawler Fire Dept. semi-annual allotment $2,756.25
Iowa Workforce Development unemployment $19.92
Treasurer State of Iowa withholding $804.00
Iowa DNR water supply fee $50.99
Helping Services annual donation $100.00
     
Total   $93,167.96
     
Library Bills    
     
IPERS June $176.21
Cathy Humpal wages $877.17
HGTV Magazine subscription $34.97
Penworthy books $92.41
Windstream May $88.95
The Courier subscription $91.85
INGRAM books $280.07
DEMCO equipment $1,116.82
Lawler Public Library petty cash – postage & supplies $70.02
United States Treasury FICA withholding $973.04
Treasurer State of Iowa withholding $110.00
     
Library Total   $3,911.51
     
June Receipts    
General   $869.88
Road Use Tax   $4,117.91
Property Tax   $1,280.53
Local Option Tax   $2,400.92
Library   $559.82
Charges for Services $40,731.78
Park Fundraiser   $787.22
     
Total   $50,748.06

Tony Blazek from the Lawler Irish Fest reported that the Irish Fest had a good turnout this year and everything went real well.

Jason Byrne informed the council that the Lawler All-Niter will be the same number of teams as last year.  Jason is collecting a deposit for the campsites that will be refunded if the campsites are cleaned up.  Gates or the dump truck will be used to stop the pedestrian traffic as last year.

Jerry Vrzak was present to discuss utility deposits.  Moved by Scheidel, seconded by King to require a $100 utility deposit for customers that pay for only two utility services, the deposit for all others will be $150.  Ayes – Izer, King. Scheidel & Throndson.  Nays – Zubrod.

Ron Myers has plans to build a house and inquired about water and sewer mains.  There will be estimates on the cost of the water and sewer mains and it will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Moved by Izer, seconded by King to have the sheriff talk to the residents at 205 S Depot Street about the violation of City Code in regard to the number of dogs in the household.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel. seconded by Izer to send notice to the residents of 102 S Lincoln Street that the camper on the property must have current license or be removed from the property.  All Ayes.

Midwest Assistance Program was discussed.  It will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by King to approve payment estimate #6 in the amount of $3,300.29 and payment estimate $7-final in the amount of $26,389.87 from Blazek Corporation for Well #2 and Water Main Improvement Project.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Zubrod to accept the project construction of the Well #2 and Water Main Improvement Project.  All Ayes.

Discussion of City property south of town was tabled for the next meeting.

The City owned lot on Grove Street will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Izer to approve the Hole in the Wall liquor license renewal.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Zubrod to withdraw 2 – $5,000 investment CD’s.  The funds will be used as extra payment on the tractor.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Zubrod to reinvest $5,000 sewer fund investment CD for 30 months.  All Ayes.

Requests for proposals for the City Annual Exam from Dennis Donovan, PC and Shaffer Company, PC were reviewed.  Moved by Izer, seconded by Zubrod to accept the proposal in the amount of $3,000 from Dennis Donovan, PC for the City Annual Exam.  All Ayes.

Delinquent accounts were discussed.  Disconnect notices will be sent.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to move into closed session to discuss the City Clerk position at the request of Sue Cutsforth.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by King to move out of closed session.  All Ayes.

Moved by Izer for the retirement of Sue Cutsforth on September 30, 2016.  Motion died for lack of second.

Moved by King, seconded by Scheidel for the retirement of Sue Cutsforth on November 30, 2016.  Ayes – Izer, King, Scheidel and Zubrod.  Nays – Throndson.

Moved by Izer, seconded by King to adjourn the meeting at 10:50 PM.  All Ayes.

_____________________________

Sue Cutsforth, City Clerk

Special City Council Meeting–July 18, 2016

 

AGENDA

SPECIAL MEETING

JULY 18, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

CITY HALL

  1. ROLL CALL.
  1. APPROVAL WITH ANY ADDITIONS OF AGENDA.
  1. BUSINESS:
  1. CITY CLERK JOB DESCRIPTION.
  1. ADJOURNMENT.

July 2016 City Council Agenda

City of Lawler
414 E. Grove St.
PO Box 215
Lawler, IA  52154
563-238-3614

AGENDA

REGULAR MEETING–JULY 5, 2016–7:00 PM, CITY HALL

ROLL CALL.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA WITH ANY ADDITIONS.

APPROVAL & CORRECTIONS, IF ANY, OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS AND APPROVAL OF THE BILLS PRESENTED TO BE PAID.

MAYORS COMMENTS.

BUSINESS:

  • LAWLER IRISH FEST COMMITTEE.
  • LAWLER ALL-NITER – JASON BYRNE.
  • ASHLEY EWING – NUISANCE.
  • NUISANCE – CAMPER AT 102 S LINCOLN STREET.
  • MIDWEST ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.
  • JERRY VRZAK – UTILITY DEPOSITS.
  • WELL #2 AND WATER MAIN PROJECT – ACCEPTANCE OF PROJECT CONSTRUCTION.
  • APPROVAL OF PAYMENT ESTIMATE #6 AND #7 FROM BLAZEK CORPORATION ON WELL #2 AND WATER MAIN PROJECT.
  • CITY PROPERTY SOUTH OF TOWN.
  • LOT ON GROVE STREET.
  • HOLE IN THE WALL – LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWAL.
  • ANNUAL EXAM – CPA PROPOSALS.
  • DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS.
  • CITY CLERK POSITION.

ADJOURNMENT.

 

 

June 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes

The Lawler City Council met in regular session on June 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Mayor Mueterthies presided.

Council members present: Izer, King, Scheidel, Throndson & Zubrod.

Others present: Mike Murray, Deb Merrill, Tony Blazek, Lucas Elsbernd, Roger Dreckman and Mary Gruenberg.

Moved by King, seconded by Zubrod to approve the Agenda with the additions of the Irish Fest Committee and Mary Gruenberg discussion of nuisance.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Throndson to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and to approve the bills presented to be paid.  All Ayes.

Hawkeye REC Service $15,220.77
Treasurer State of Iowa sales tax  May $986.00
United States Treasury FICA, with $1,533.72
IPERS May $987.85
Salaries Salaries $6,638.82
Jendro Sanitation May garbage $2,167.96
Post Office Postage $74.47
Windstream May $90.70
Black Hills Energy natural gas $127.45
United Parcel Service shipping $101.00
Post Office box rent $52.00
ARAWARK rental $86.90
Fehr Graham services – water project $254.50
Bodensteiner Imp. blade $56.04
Heartland Asphalt cold mix $535.62
New Hampton Tribune proceedings $336.73
TestAmerica water & wastewater testing $185.85
Hawkins water supplies $345.58
Blazek Corporation park curbstop $271.25
Stanton Electric electric pole & repairs $924.57
Paul Niemann Const. rock $78.36
Anderson, Wilmarth Law Firm legal fees $850.00
Roger Dreckman Construction clean brush – park $1,125.00
Pollard pest control $54.50
Team Lab supplies – sewer $1,508.50
CASH, Inc. park fence, supplies & fuel $1,783.44
Five Star Coop fuel-April $72.20
Iowa Finance Authority sewer loan payment $32,742.50
Iowa Finance Authority water loan payment $18,623.29
Lawler Public Library cleaning reimbursement $412.82
Rosenbaum Auto stump grinding $136.00
Five Star Coop fuel & lp tank at lift station $956.31
Total   $89,782.70
     
Library Bills    
     
IPERS May $178.81
Cathy Humpal wages $888.22
do it yourself subscription $21.37
Penworthy books $112.27
Windstream April $85.94
Midwest Tape dvd’s $71.97
INGRAM books $166.54
Food Network Magazine subscription $39.97
House Beautiful subscription $32.07
Cathy Humpal insurance reimbursement $750.00
     
Library Total   $2,347.16
     
May Receipts    
General   $1,229.06
Road Use Tax   $2,941.68
Property Tax   $3,667.96
Local Option Tax   $3,040.57
Transfer of Jurisdiction-County $1,905.28
Charges for Services $42,143.44
CDBG-water   $6,000.00
State Revolving Fund-water $33,032.40
     
Total   $93,960.39

Lucas Elsbernd from Fehr Graham Engineering explained the costs for the water project and the change order reduction.  Moved by Izer, seconded by Throndson to approve change order #3 from Blazek Corporation for Well #2 and Water Main Project with a reduction of $17,665.98.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to approve a variance to Eric Njus for his house at 306 W Grove Street  provided that the Board of Adjustment approves the variance.  This is being granted due to survey discrepancies.  All Ayes.

The Lawler Irish Fest  requested that the east side of the hardware store building be blocked off during the Irish Fest for a car show.  Moved by King, seconded by Scheidel to approve the east side of the hardware store building to be blocked off for a car show during the Irish Fest.  All Ayes.

The Lawler Irish Fest requested a larger tent be used this year during the fest.  It will be located 12 ft. further north and 8 ft. further south than previous years. Moved by King, seconded by Izer to allow the larger tent for the fest as presented.  All Ayes.

The Lawler Fire Department requested using Croell Park for kids water ball on the Saturday of the Irish Fest.  Moved by Izer, seconded by Zubrod to approve the use of Croell Park for kids water ball on the Saturday of the Irish Fest.  All Ayes.

Mary Gruenberg had a complaint about the number of dogs at the residence and the excessive barking caused by the dogs in at 205 S Depot Street.  There have also been other complaints from residents about this.  Moved by King, seconded by Throndson to send the residents at 205 S Depot Street a letter to remedy the excessive barking from their dogs and comply with City Code on the number of dogs owned within seven to ten days.  All Ayes.

The council answered questions that Mike Murray and Deb Merrill had about the new discontinuance of service and utility deposit policies.

Moved by King, seconded by Zubrod to approve the Utility Deposit Policy, Discontinuance of Service Policy, letter to landlords regarding new utility policies and letter to residents regarding new utility policies.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to contact Shirley Kuehner about the possible conveyance of property south of town that is owned by the City.  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Scheidel to allow Pat & JoAnne Costigan to display the old fire bell.  An agreement will be signed stating that the City will maintain ownership of the bell and if they no longer wish to display it, it will be returned to the City.  All Ayes.

The park budget has all been used for this fiscal year so the City will not be able to contribute to the trail or park committee this fiscal year.

Cathy Humpal will continue to clean the bathrooms, hallway and meeting room as needed.

Moved by Izer, seconded by Throndson to send requests for proposals to three CPA firms to conduct an annual exam as required by the Auditor of the State.  These proposals will be accepted until July 5, 2016.  All Ayes.

Moved by Izer, seconded by King to approve a 2% salary increase for Jay Uhlenhake.   All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Throndson to approve a 2% salary increase for Sue Cutsforth.  Ayes -King & Throndson.  Nays- Izer, Scheidel & Zubrod.  Jay Uhlenhake $51,305.54, Sue Cutsforth $29,366.28.

Delinquent accounts were discussed.  Payment agreements as presented were approved.

Moved by Zubrod, seconded by Throndson to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 PM.  All Ayes.

______________________________

Sue Cutsforth, City Clerk

Memorial Day in Lawler 2003

Author’s Note: This is one of my favorite stories from “Depot Street Memories-The Lawler Stories” (available as an e-book on Amazon.com for 3 bucks)

 There were countless patriotic ceremonies conducted throughout the United States this past week. Some attracted dignitaries and politicians who delivered rousing oratories produced by paid speechwriters. Others featured elite military bands, F-16 flyovers, and elaborate stages designed for a television audience.

But not one of them could have been more moving to this northeast Iowa native than the traditional gathering conducted in Lawler—the home of my youth.

My wife Renee and I had driven up from our Des Moines area home on Sunday to celebrate the high school graduation of our niece in Fort Atkinson. That evening I suggested to her that we get up early on Monday, visit the cemeteries of our respective families, and get to Lawler in time for the Memorial Services in the city park.

Although I moved away from the community in 1964 at the age of twenty, there have always been wonderful memories of my childhood there. Many are directly connected to the small piece of ground just north of the tracks next to the lumberyard. There were pick-up baseball and football games with the Scallys, Timlins, McGreeveys, and Leonards. Ice skating on cold January evenings when they flooded the area for us. A berry tree on the east end that bore fruit for the taking. And the Memorial Day parade in which soldiers from World Wars I and II and Korea marched from the Legion Hall three blocks west on Main Street to the corner with the fire bell by the lumberyard. They turned north for one-half block and entered the park. The ex-military men seemed old to me then because I was so young.

My friends and I eagerly anticipated the 21-gun salute so we could dive for the empty shell cases. Paul Junko always got there first and got the most. The rest of us begrudgingly respected his courage and timing.

And even though I never fully understood the full significance of the pageantry, I knew instinctively at some level that it was important for me to be there. Then a simple request was made by a teacher, Alice Costigan, during my freshman year in high school. “Bill, will you recite In Flanders Field in the park on Memorial Day?”

“Of course,” I agreed. “I would be honored to do so.”

And I have never taken the day for granted since. Too old to dive for shells and too young to understand the horrors of war—I memorized that wonderful poem about the dead asking to be remembered by the living, and it somehow changed my life. For the first time I really began to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made. Military men and women who survived and those who did not. Lives were given so that my family and friends could live in a free society. In New York or Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. or Chicago. Or Lawler, Iowa. And it moved me in a way that I had not been moved before.

Until this past week, thirty-nine years have passed since I last experienced the ceremony in person. However, every year I have thought of and thanked God for them—the brave soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen from Lawler.

Going back might have been one of those letdowns that occur when you return decades later.  The creek bed that’s not quite as wide or deep as you remembered. The buildings not as tall. The people not as friendly.

But it was not a disappointment. Rather, I was quietly overwhelmed with emotion as the veterans—who didn’t seem quite so old now that I am 59—marched west on Main Street. The building where they congregated to prepare for the march is no longer known as the Legion Hall. The fire bell on the corner has long since been dismantled. But they still marched with pride and dignity. With a sense of purpose. I watched as my cousin Jack McKone carried one of the flags. I heard the Turkey Valley band play God Bless America. And I stood there with a lump in my throat as they turned north at the west end of the lumberyard for one-half block and entered the park. Men, women, and children stood with hands over hearts, each bearing secret thoughts and memories of their own.

And then a young man stood on the bandstand overlooking the hushed assembled and began to recite, “In Flanders Field the poppies blow…beneath the crosses row on row…”

I thought of Alice Costigan and Paul Junko and soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen. And days in the park as a child. And more recent wars in Vietnam and Kuwait and Iraq.

As he finished the poem, tear drops unashamedly fell down my face. At that moment there is no place in the world I would rather have been on a beautiful sun-lit morning than in Lawler, Iowa.

On Memorial Day.

(Published in the New Hampton Tribune – June 6, 2003)

and

(Published in The Draft Horse Journal – Spring 2004)

Author’s Note: This is one of my favorite stories from “Depot Street Memories-The Lawler Stories” (available as an e-book on Amazon.com for 3 bucks)

Memorial Day in Lawler 2003
There were countless patriotic ceremonies conducted throughout the United States this past week. Some attracted dignitaries and politicians who delivered rousing oratories produced by paid speechwriters. Others featured elite military bands, F-16 flyovers, and elaborate stages designed for a television audience.
But not one of them could have been more moving to this northeast Iowa native than the traditional gathering conducted in Lawler—the home of my youth.
My wife Renee and I had driven up from our Des Moines area home on Sunday to celebrate the high school graduation of our niece in Fort Atkinson. That evening I suggested to her that we get up early on Monday, visit the cemeteries of our respective families, and get to Lawler in time for the Memorial Services in the city park.
Although I moved away from the community in 1964 at the age of twenty, there have always been wonderful memories of my childhood there. Many are directly connected to the small piece of ground just north of the tracks next to the lumberyard. There were pick-up baseball and football games with the Scallys, Timlins, McGreeveys, and Leonards. Ice skating on cold January evenings when they flooded the area for us. A berry tree on the east end that bore fruit for the taking. And the Memorial Day parade in which soldiers from World Wars I and II and Korea marched from the Legion Hall three blocks west on Main Street to the corner with the fire bell by the lumberyard. They turned north for one-half block and entered the park. The ex-military men seemed old to me then because I was so young.
My friends and I eagerly anticipated the 21-gun salute so we could dive for the empty shell cases. Paul Junko always got there first and got the most. The rest of us begrudgingly respected his courage and timing.
And even though I never fully understood the full significance of the pageantry, I knew instinctively at some level that it was important for me to be there. Then a simple request was made by a teacher, Alice Costigan, during my freshman year in high school. “Bill, will you recite In Flanders Field in the park on Memorial Day?”
“Of course,” I agreed. “I would be honored to do so.”
And I have never taken the day for granted since. Too old to dive for shells and too young to understand the horrors of war—I memorized that wonderful poem about the dead asking to be remembered by the living, and it somehow changed my life. For the first time I really began to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made. Military men and women who survived and those who did not. Lives were given so that my family and friends could live in a free society. In New York or Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. or Chicago. Or Lawler, Iowa. And it moved me in a way that I had not been moved before.
Until this past week, thirty-nine years have passed since I last experienced the ceremony in person. However, every year I have thought of and thanked God for them—the brave soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen from Lawler.
Going back might have been one of those letdowns that occur when you return decades later. The creek bed that’s not quite as wide or deep as you remembered. The buildings not as tall. The people not as friendly.
But it was not a disappointment. Rather, I was quietly overwhelmed with emotion as the veterans—who didn’t seem quite so old now that I am 59—marched west on Main Street. The building where they congregated to prepare for the march is no longer known as the Legion Hall. The fire bell on the corner has long since been dismantled. But they still marched with pride and dignity. With a sense of purpose. I watched as my cousin Jack McKone carried one of the flags. I heard the Turkey Valley band play God Bless America. And I stood there with a lump in my throat as they turned north at the west end of the lumberyard for one-half block and entered the park. Men, women, and children stood with hands over hearts, each bearing secret thoughts and memories of their own.
And then a young man stood on the bandstand overlooking the hushed assembled and began to recite, “In Flanders Field the poppies blow…beneath the crosses row on row…”
I thought of Alice Costigan and Paul Junko and soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen. And days in the park as a child. And more recent wars in Vietnam and Kuwait and Iraq.
As he finished the poem, tear drops unashamedly fell down my face. At that moment there is no place in the world I would rather have been on a beautiful sun-lit morning than in Lawler, Iowa.
On Memorial Day.
(Published in the New Hampton Tribune – June 6, 2003)
and
(Published in The Draft Horse Journal – Spring 2004)

Author’s Note: This is one of my favorite stories from “Depot Street Memories-The Lawler Stories” (available as an e-book on Amazon.com for 3 bucks)

 

Memorial Day in Lawler 2003

There were countless patriotic ceremonies conducted throughout the United States this past week. Some attracted dignitaries and politicians who delivered rousing oratories produced by paid speechwriters. Others featured elite military bands, F-16 flyovers, and elaborate stages designed for a television audience.

But not one of them could have been more moving to this northeast Iowa native than the traditional gathering conducted in Lawler—the home of my youth.

My wife Renee and I had driven up from our Des Moines area home on Sunday to celebrate the high school graduation of our niece in Fort Atkinson. That evening I suggested to her that we get up early on Monday, visit the cemeteries of our respective families, and get to Lawler in time for the Memorial Services in the city park.

Although I moved away from the community in 1964 at the age of twenty, there have always been wonderful memories of my childhood there. Many are directly connected to the small piece of ground just north of the tracks next to the lumberyard. There were pick-up baseball and football games with the Scallys, Timlins, McGreeveys, and Leonards. Ice skating on cold January evenings when they flooded the area for us. A berry tree on the east end that bore fruit for the taking. And the Memorial Day parade in which soldiers from World Wars I and II and Korea marched from the Legion Hall three blocks west on Main Street to the corner with the fire bell by the lumberyard. They turned north for one-half block and entered the park. The ex-military men seemed old to me then because I was so young.

My friends and I eagerly anticipated the 21-gun salute so we could dive for the empty shell cases. Paul Junko always got there first and got the most. The rest of us begrudgingly respected his courage and timing.

And even though I never fully understood the full significance of the pageantry, I knew instinctively at some level that it was important for me to be there. Then a simple request was made by a teacher, Alice Costigan, during my freshman year in high school. “Bill, will you recite In Flanders Field in the park on Memorial Day?”

“Of course,” I agreed. “I would be honored to do so.”

And I have never taken the day for granted since. Too old to dive for shells and too young to understand the horrors of war—I memorized that wonderful poem about the dead asking to be remembered by the living, and it somehow changed my life. For the first time I really began to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made. Military men and women who survived and those who did not. Lives were given so that my family and friends could live in a free society. In New York or Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. or Chicago. Or Lawler, Iowa. And it moved me in a way that I had not been moved before.

Until this past week, thirty-nine years have passed since I last experienced the ceremony in person. However, every year I have thought of and thanked God for them—the brave soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen from Lawler.

Going back might have been one of those letdowns that occur when you return decades later.  The creek bed that’s not quite as wide or deep as you remembered. The buildings not as tall. The people not as friendly.

But it was not a disappointment. Rather, I was quietly overwhelmed with emotion as the veterans—who didn’t seem quite so old now that I am 59—marched west on Main Street. The building where they congregated to prepare for the march is no longer known as the Legion Hall. The fire bell on the corner has long since been dismantled. But they still marched with pride and dignity. With a sense of purpose. I watched as my cousin Jack McKone carried one of the flags. I heard the Turkey Valley band play God Bless America. And I stood there with a lump in my throat as they turned north at the west end of the lumberyard for one-half block and entered the park. Men, women, and children stood with hands over hearts, each bearing secret thoughts and memories of their own.

And then a young man stood on the bandstand overlooking the hushed assembled and began to recite, “In Flanders Field the poppies blow…beneath the crosses row on row…”

I thought of Alice Costigan and Paul Junko and soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen. And days in the park as a child. And more recent wars in Vietnam and Kuwait and Iraq.

As he finished the poem, tear drops unashamedly fell down my face. At that moment there is no place in the world I would rather have been on a beautiful sun-lit morning than in Lawler, Iowa.

On Memorial Day.

(Published in the New Hampton Tribune – June 6, 2003)

and

(Published in The Draft Horse Journal – Spring 2004)

Bill Sheridan

Brother Pat’s Big Catch

(This little story comes from Depot Street Memories…The Lawler Stories, available as an e-book on Amazon.Com for $3)

            Patrick was ten years old at the time. Since he is two years and two days older than me, I was eight on that sunny July 1952 afternoon.

            He was fishing off the roof of our back porch on the east side of the house with a cane pole and bare hook, as was his habit. No night crawler was necessary since the nearest body of water was at least three miles from our home. Brother Pat was ‘pretend fishing’ by trying to grab the clothesline near the southeast corner of our house. Whenever successful in the venture, he shouted to the world, “I got one!”

            Luck was on his side as he felt a tug on the line which he had blindly tossed out over the edge of the porch roof. He gave a powerful yank on the fishing line giving out an extra exuberant yelp, “I got one! I got one! I got a really big one!”

            Unfortunately for me, my luck was not as good as Pat’s. I had just stepped down from the porch when I felt a sharp pain in my left ear, and my head inexplicably began to rise.

In a split second, a fish hook was deeply imbedded in my outer ear. Patrick had not caught the clothesline. Patrick had snagged little brother Billy, and tried to haul his 89-pound trophy in until he heard me screaming.

            Now we had a serious problem. Mom was in Waucoma about seven miles away running the family locker business. The nearest doctors were in New Hampton or Fredericksburg, each approximately eight miles away. Even had there been a car at home, no one around was old enough to drive it.

            Fisherman Patrick suddenly morphed into First Responder Patrick and came up with the only solution we could think of, “Let’s go see John Costigan!”

            To this day I have no idea how he knew to do that. But it was the perfect answer. John had been in the service and must have had some training as a medic. We ran the three blocks to his business on the west end of downtown. Pat was terrified and I was crying as blood streamed out of my ear, where the hook remained buried.

            Thank God, John was not concerned about practicing medicine without a license. He calmly took a jackknife out of his pocket and proceeded to extricate the hook from my ear. After wiping the blood off my cheek, he sent both of us home with a recommendation that Pat try his luck next time at Crane Creek rather than in our land-locked back yard.

            As I write this, it’s been fifty-seven years since Pat tried to pull in that prize fish with his non-baited cane pole.

And it’s also been fifty-seven years since I’ve gotten within a hundred yards of him whenever I see a pole in his hands.

I have no desire to be mounted on the wall of his home office.

(Bill Sheridan)

 

 

May 2016 City Council Meeting Minutes

The Lawler City Council met in regular session on May 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Mayor Mueterthies presided.

Council members present: Izer, King, Scheidel, Throndson & Zubrod.

Others present: Kurt Croell, Tony Blazek, Randy Franzen & Jay Uhlenhake.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to approve the Agenda with the additions of discussion of spring cleanup day and the fire bell .  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by King to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and to approve the bills presented to be paid with the correction to Stanton Electric bill.  All Ayes.

Hawkeye REC Service $18,188.34
Treasurer State of Iowa Sales tax first quarter adjustment $7.00
Treasurer State of Iowa sales tax  April $992.00
United States Treasury FICA, with $1,533.74
IPERS April $987.86
Salaries Salaries $6,638.82
Jendro Sanitation April garbage $2,131.02
Post Office Postage $209.00
Windstream April $93.27
Black Hills Energy natural gas $182.27
United Parcel Service shipping $103.00
Lawler Public Library allotment $1,160.00
ARAWARK rental $130.35
City of Lawler sewer payroll expense $3,309.57
Bodensteiner Imp. supplies $46.87
Gary Cuvelier 15 hrs. snow removal $150.00
New Hampton Tribune proceedings $152.15
TestAmerica water testing $50.00
Quality Pump & Control sewer pump repair $2,251.00
Blazek Corporation lagoon repairs $185.00
Stanton Electric pole replacement $863.56
Paul Niemann Const. rock $75.24
IAMU annual dues $1,121.00
Quill office supplies $274.96
Chickasaw County Clerk of Court small claims $295.00
Jerry Zweibahmer deposit refund $75.00
Jennifer Bear deposit refund $75.00
CASH, Inc. supplies & fuel $214.95
Five Star Coop park fuel $158.57
Simmering-Cory Inc. water project administrative fees $6,000.00
John Deere Financial tractor payment $8,458.81
     
Total   $56,575.35
     
Library Bills    
     
IPERS April $178.81
Cathy Humpal wages $888.20
Jane Lynch wages $51.72
Penworthy books $163.30
Windstream March $85.72
Midwest Tape dvd’s $112.30
INGRAM books $210.71
Simple & Delicious subscription $19.98
Calmar Courier subscription $33.00
Quill office supplies $38.36
DEMCO supplies $199.50
Petty Cash supplies & postage $86.87
     
Library Total   $2,068.47
     
April Receipts    
General   $693.24
Road Use Tax   $2,597.25
Property Tax   $25,018.87
Local Option Tax   $3,040.55
Park Donations   $6,232.00
Charges for Services $44,019.92
     
Total   $81,601.83

 

The Lawler Irish Fest committee members requested that the volleyball tournament during the fest be moved from Croell Park to Junko Park to make it more efficient for the players who are involved in both volleyball and kickball.  Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Zubrod to approve the volleyball tournament to be at Junko Park during the Irish Fest.  All Ayes.

John Cuvelier was not able to attend the meeting to discuss insurance renewal.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by King to approve Bucky’s cigarette permit renewal.  All Ayes.

Peak Energy Saver program from Jirak Construction was reviewed.

Moved by Zubrod, seconded by Scheidel to open the public hearing on the amendment of the current budget at 7:15 PM.  All Ayes. There were no oral or written comments or objections at this time.

Moved by King, seconded by Throndson to close the public hearing on the amendment of the current budget.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Zubrod to pass resolution #05022016 a resolution amending the current budget for the FY ending June, 2016.  All Ayes.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Zubrod to pass resolution #050316 a resolution assessing $1581.00 to the property at 315 E Grove Street for sidewalk replacement and snow removal.  All Ayes.

The condition of N East Street and E Spring from Depot Street to the hydrant were discussed.  It was decided that E Spring would be added to the seal coating project for this year and that seal coating it not needed on N East Street.

Estimates for seal coating and crack sealing from Blacktop Service Co., Kluesner Construction, Prairie Road Builders and D&M Asphalt were reviewed.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Izer to accept the bid as presented of $24,204.21 for seal coating from Blacktop Service Co., E Spring Street from Depot Street to the hydrant will be added for an approximate cost of $2,000.00.  All Ayes.

Letters will be sent to property owners in regard to lawn mowing and vehicle removal.

Moved by Scheidel, seconded by Izer to approve payment estimate #5 in the amount of $$29,874.65 from Blazek Corporation for Well #2 and Water Main Improvement Project.  All Ayes.

Investments were discussed.  Moved by King, seconded by Izer to reinvest interest on certificates of deposit at fiscal yearend and review investments it the July meeting.  All Ayes.

Delinquent accounts were discussed.

Moved by King, seconded by Zubrod to increase utility deposits to $150.00 .  All Ayes.

Moved by King, seconded by Izer to send 12 day notice of disconnection of service to customers when their bill is delinquent after the 20th of the month.  All Ayes.

Spring Cleanup Day will be as planned.  Some of the garbage may not be picked up until Saturday depending on how much is put out for Cleanup Day.

Pat Costigan is interested in putting the  old fire bell on his lot at the corner of Lincoln and Grove.  The City would like to keep ownership of the bell if it is put on the lot.  Jeremy Scheidel will check with the fire department and it will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Moved by Zubrod, seconded by Scheidel to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 PM.  All Ayes.

______________________________

Sue Cutsforth, City Clerk

May 2016 City Council Agenda

AGENDA

REGULAR MEETING

MAY 2, 2016       7:00 PM, CITY HALL

 ROLL CALL.

 APPROVAL OF AGENDA WITH ANY ADDITIONS.

 APPROVAL & CORRECTIONS, IF ANY, OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS AND APPROVAL OF THE BILLS PRESENTED TO BE PAID.

 MAYORS COMMENTS.

 BUSINESS:

  1.  LAWLER IRISH FEST – VOLLEYBALL
  2.  PUBLIC HEARING AMENDMENT OF CURRENT BUDGET – 7:15 PM.
  3.  JOHN CUVELIeR – INSURANCE RENEWAL.
  4.  ESTIMATES ON STREET PROJECT.
  5.  BUCKY’S CIGARETTE PERMIT RENEWAL.
  6.  JIRAK CONSTRUCTION – PEAK ENERGY SAVER INFORMATION.
  7.  RESOLUTION ASSESSING COSTS TO PROPERTY.
  8.  APPROVAL OF PAYMENT ESTIMATE #5 FOR WELL #2 AND WATER MAIN PROJECT.
  9.  REVIEW INVESTMENT POLICY.
  10.  DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS-UTILITY DEPOSITS-UTILITY APPLICATION.
  11.  ADJOURNMENT.

 

 

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